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Hi all,

 

As my 5-year old Bosch S5A13 battery is on its way out, not holding charge for more than a few days if off the tender, I decided to look for lithium batteries.

 

As the popular US Antigravity ones are not available or very difficult to find in Europe those were ruled out. I had seen the very cool and flashy Liteblox ones, with lovely carbon fiber housings but the prices were 10 times the price of an AGM, such as another Bosch or Yuasa.

 

Then I found an Australian brand called LithiuMax which are available in Europe and decided to have a go from a German reseller who made me an early 20% off Black Friday discount which amounts to 3-3.5 times the price of an AGM. If they live up to their promises of lasting between 3 to 5 times a conventional battery (I kind of doubt that....), it would even be cost effective.

 

It's a RESTART9 model with an adapter bracket:

 

 

It's also 3.3 kg which compares nicely with the 27 kg of the S5A13. Weight is not a driver of my decision, as this is not a track car but it's always good to shed some weight.

 

Recently, I also exchanged my BMW R nineT's battery with a Skyrich HJP21-FP lithium and it's similar: the OEM battery (dead after 2.5 years, as good as the Porsche Moll ones 😞 ) weighs about 5kg and the new one weighs 1.3kg. It even felt as if I was installing an empty Tupperware into the bike but it is one empty box that packs 360CA against the OEM's 200CA. It's amazing, really.

 

Anyway, the LithiuMax is on its way, should be here mid next week and will report on my initial impressions.

Edited by laalves
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Reading through the low voltage at the battery threads, I did notice that my bike used to have 13.8V engine running with the OEM AGM. With the lithium, it now has 14.6-14.7V, just bordering the maximum allowed by the battery of 15V.

I suppose this is due to the different internal resistance and charging current.

I’m curious to see if in the car the same is going to happen.

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And here it is, already installed and working just fine:

 

IMG_7589.thumb.jpeg.5f2f538f763c90e6aece1b1b3bcb4cc9.jpeg

 

 

IMG_7591.thumb.jpeg.2788169096a18a8cedb2892b3cedb879.jpeg

 

Looks awfully empty in there.

 

I guess I have a little bit more of frunk space now 😉

 

IMG_7588.thumb.jpeg.0927d9aa175561480b5363d8b72c3948.jpeg

 

The size comparison is amazing as well as the weight: 26kg the Bosch, 3.3kg the lithium. Considering that I replaced the comfort full electric seats with the 997GT2 seats, and saved about 40kg there, I managed to offset the weight of the Tip when compared with the manual 😉 Disclaimer: neither one of those mods was done to save weight, it's just a positive side-effect.

 

I bought the Bosch about 5 years ago and it served me very well but it was no longer holding a charge and I had to have it on the tender overnight, going to sleep with 12.6 and waking up with 12.2 if off it. After a couple of days not running and off-tender, it was down to 12V. It was still starting ok but I guess it was a matter of time and as I hate being left stranded, decided to replace it.

 

After having a look at all possibilities, Yuasa YBX9xxx, same-model Bosch (which is an AGM 95Ah 850A now) and top of the range Bosch S6, I ended up with lithium, after my excellent experience with my bike's lithium battery.

 

With a nice Black Friday deal, I got this for about 600€, which is 3 times as much as a S5A13 and in the same price range as a S6 AGM. With the manufacturer states a duration of 3 to 5 times a lead acid. I hope so but don't really count on it: 15 to 25 years out of a starter battery? But let's see, battery duration is always a question mark, with the Porsche Moll ones never having lasted me more than 3 years and costing about half of this lithium.

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Amazing, never saw this type of battery for a car...Being a retired aircraft mechanic my only concern is what happen with the lithium battery on the Boeing Dreamliner....Keep us inform, how would like to know , on a long term, how satisfied you are! Thanks, J.P.

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I would also like to know the unit's cold cranking amperage (CCA run at 0F after 24 hours), not the cranking amperage (CA which is done a 68 F) in the specs.  A lot of these small, lightweight units are fine for race cars, but fall flat on their faces (literally) trying to spin over an engine at 20 F. 

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1 hour ago, JFP in PA said:

I would also like to know the unit's cold cranking amperage (CCA run at 0F after 24 hours), not the cranking amperage (CA which is done a 68 F) in the specs.  A lot of these small, lightweight units are fine for race cars, but fall flat on their faces (literally) trying to spin over an engine at 20 F. 

 

They don't say. And don't even say what is the real Ah, they simply state 68Ah lead equivalent (PbEq, new term...) which is a common practice for lithium batteries manufacturers it seems. As a guide, my Skyrich lithium in my bike says it is a 6Ah, 360CA and 330CCA. The original AGM battery, dead after 2.5 years (a week after being taken off the tender, now sports 4.3V! Deader than the dead) was a 12Ah, 200CA. Interestingly, they claim it to be 21Ah PbEq.

 

Doing the math, and assuming the proportion is the same, this would be:

 

68Ah PbEQ = 19.42Ah

900CA = 825 CCA

 

Interestingly, all manufacturers for lithium batteries for bikes (where there's a huge offer and the market is very much alive) claim that a 4Ah (12Ah PbEq) 240CA is the equivalent to the original BMW 12Ah 200CA.

 

Today I've driven the car in an errand, shut it down and turn it back on several times as in a normal day of use and all without a hiccup. The bike is the same, already for a few weeks.

 

At rest, the Porsche battery is showing a consistent 13.30V and the bike 13.50V. I have Bluetooth battery monitors on both and they say 100% charge and do not come down. I don't know how they measure that but it's not based on voltage levels only, as I saw the previous batteries showing voltages above 12.4V but charges at 40% or so. Now, I only went the lithium way because around here I don't get below freezing temperatures ever (Lisbon). At the harshest winter nights it may go down to +5ºC, a couple of times a year, if I had serious cold here, I wouldn't go lithium.

 

Brave new world of lithium.

 

 

Edited by laalves
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As someone that spent a significant part of his career in the battery business, your use of "assuming the proportions are the same" is more than seriously flawed.  The CCA test used by the BCI (Battery Council International, the international technical consortium that sets standards for battery ratings and testing procedures used by battery manufacturers world wide) is very similar to the one used by the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers); which requires storing the finished and fully charged battery a 0F (-17.8 C) for a period of 24 hours, then load testing it to determine its CCA rating.  There is no known "proportioning" formula for determining this value, only hard testing data.

 

Lightweight battery manufacturers have been "inventing" unique rating values and "equivalencies" without a basis in technical facts, and that are really totally meaningless, simply because they know what the outcome of publishing the more widely accepted testing data would be: Their batteries would appear weak compared to conventional SLI (starting, lighting, ignition) batteries.

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22 hours ago, laalves said:

With a nice Black Friday deal, I got this for about 600€, which is 3 times as much as a S5A13 and in the same price range as a S6 AGM. With the manufacturer states a duration of 3 to 5 times a lead acid. I hope so but don't really count on it: 15 to 25 years out of a starter battery? But let's see, battery duration is always a question mark, with the Porsche Moll ones never having lasted me more than 3 years and costing about half of this lithium.

 

First off, cool post.  Holy cow though, 600 Euros?  I didn't realize the Bosch AGM was that much too, that's super expensive.  I also just replaced my battery recently -- the original Varta AGM in my 2014 vehicle -- with an Optima Yellow-Top, which costs $250 USD and I was thinking that was pricey.  You can get a DieHard Platinum AGM (apparently all the AGM's here are Johnson Controls anyway) here for about $175.  The AGM batteries do last longer than conventional lead acid (with other cool benefits like no spill, vibration resistance, etc) and my 7 year old Varta probably could have made it longer, I've seen people with 10 years or more on them, but like you I also value not getting stranded.  I got stranded many years ago in a blizzard in the middle of nowhere as the battery in my first BMW after college died as I was going up a hill.  When I think about that experience I'm also happy to pay up a little for a battery as insurance (especially with my wife and kids in the car).

 

To that end I've been really happy with the Yellow Top.  My car starts very strong even as it has started to get colder here some days...and it's never a problem when my kids are in the car with the ignition off playing with the sunroof and all the other electronics.  So far I would definitely buy an Optima again.

 

Keep this thread updated later.  Thanks for a fun post, this was a nice read.

Edited by Silver_TT
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2 hours ago, JFP in PA said:

As someone that spent a significant part of his career in the battery business, your use of "assuming the proportions are the same" is more than seriously flawed.  The CCA test used by the BCI (Battery Council International, the international technical consortium that sets standards for battery ratings and testing procedures used by battery manufacturers world wide) is very similar to the one used by the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers); which requires storing the finished and fully charged battery a 0F (-17.8 C) for a period of 24 hours, then load testing it to determine its CCA rating.  There is no known "proportioning" formula for determining this value, only hard testing data.

 

Lightweight battery manufacturers have been "inventing" unique rating values and "equivalencies" without a basis in technical facts, and that are really totally meaningless, simply because they know what the outcome of publishing the more widely accepted testing data would be: Their batteries would appear weak compared to conventional SLI (starting, lighting, ignition) batteries.

 

I was comparing the small lithium battery values in my bike its mfg published (real Ah vs "PbEq" Ah; CA and CCA) with the bigger lithium battery in my car, for which the mfg only published "PbEq" Ah and CA and since it's more or less apples to apples (LiFePO4 to LiFePO4) I was making an approximation to come up with possible missing values for the bigger battery. Given there's a relatively hight probability that the same Chinese manufacturer made the LiFePO4 cells in both (BYD, CATL, AVIC, etc), it's not too bad an assumption.

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5 minutes ago, laalves said:

 

I was comparing the small lithium battery values in my bike its mfg published (real Ah vs "PbEq" Ah; CA and CCA) with the bigger lithium battery in my car, for which the mfg only published "PbEq" Ah and CA and since it's more or less apples to apples (LiFePO4 to LiFePO4) I was making an approximation to come up with possible missing values for the bigger battery. Given there's a relatively hight probability that the same Chinese manufacturer made the LiFePO4 cells in both (BYD, CATL, AVIC, etc), it's not too bad an assumption.

 

Actually, it is not.  You simply cannot take values for a smaller battery and extrapolate them to a larger unit, or visa versa.  There are many other factors (internal conductivity, heat retention, cell pack, conductor resistance differences, etc.) that complicates such a mathematical solution attempt to the point of being unreliable. This is why battery manufacturers continually test their batteries to see how they rate rather than attempt calculated performance projections.  If it was simply a matter of extrapolation, life would be a lot simpler in the battery business, they could save a whole bunch of money by not testing or having large test facilities, plus the technical consortiums (BCI/SAE) who's standards they have agreed to adhere to require actual repeatable test data rather than extrapolations.

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Wow, that's interesting if that's really officially 800 CCA.  That would imply that your lithium battery is very good even in the cold.  The Optima DH6 I just got is 800 CCA as well and it's known for being a monster that will crank on demand (I put it in a power-hungry Audi Q5 which is equipped with lots of electronics so I needed a deep cycle, the TT would probably prefer a Red Top instead) even in the most miserable cold/conditions.  Is that right they are equivalent or is there more to the story?

 

I have been to Lisboa (people that live across from my parents were from there and I became very good friends with their son a long time ago), beautiful place, lots of nice twisties by the ocean, I would get myself in trouble in the TT banging on it down those single lane roads with my windows open, I don't know how you do it.  But ya, it never really gets that cold there.  Making me hungry for a Pastéis de Belém pastry right now.... 

Edited by Silver_TT
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3 hours ago, laalves said:

Right, so out of curiosity, just emailed the manufacturer in Australia and they replied in about 30 seconds:

 

"The RESTART9 is nominal 24Ah and 800CCA."

 

Not toooooooo different from my guestimation.

 

If it truly was, it would be purely luck.  Interestingly the battery manufacturer's website says, and I quote, "up to 400CCA for ICE engines in HYBRID models with 900CA available at the press of the button" (notice we are jumping from CCA @ 0 F to CA ratings @ 68 F in that statement), apparently referring to its reserve cell capacity when a button is manually depressed, but at 68 F, not 0 F; and goes on to state, "Specifications: 68Ah PbEq, 400CCA with Push Button Reserve", so at 400 CCA (without the manual reserve button depressed) it has about 1/2 the cold cranking power of a conventional or AGM lead/acid battery of 800 CCA.  

 

As with most lightweight Li based batteries we have seen in the shop, it is low on amperage capacity.  Every one we ever saw suffered from low capacity problems (headlights dimming when the stereo or AC was running, poor starting in cool/cold weather, etc.).  There is no such thing as a free lunch.

 

Have a nice holiday week end.

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Never seen that push button statement, that’s interesting. Can you please point me there?

 

My battery is this: 

WWW.LITHIUMAX.COM.AU

The all new Autosport International Award Winning Lithiumax RESTART9 LCD battery. Weighing just 3.9kg the NEW 3rd...

 

That’s the manufacturer website.

 

This does have a push button that’s there for 2 things, per the manual:

 

1. Press it and the voltage shows up in the LCD.

2. If the undervoltage protection is triggered, it shuts down and a button press wakes it with sufficient reserve to start the car. In this car, that would be fun, with a locked hood...

 

@Silver_TT, twisties and pasteis de nata are a killer combination! 😂🤪

 

 

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Now I noticed where you picked that, it’s the wrong battery: 

WWW.LITHIUMAX.COM.AU

The perfect battery for your EV, PHEV or HYBRID vehicle. Delivering reliable, environmentally friendly and safe power to start PHEV and...

that one is for EVs, PHEVs and the like.

 

 

Edited by laalves
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5 hours ago, laalves said:

Now I noticed where you picked that, it’s the wrong battery: 

WWW.LITHIUMAX.COM.AU

The perfect battery for your EV, PHEV or HYBRID vehicle. Delivering reliable, environmentally friendly and safe power to start PHEV and...

that one is for EVs, PHEVs and the like.

 

 

 

They both appear from their dimensions and other specs to be the same battery ("Starter Battery - 68Ah EqPb lead-acid/AGM/GEL equivalent", etc.), but with different terminals.

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This is my battery:

 

d74384_52a24f582a31437792507aeaaa3c4f09~

 

This is the one you were talking about:

 

d74384_030afda38b874ee2b20c8ac76cceeba3~

 

In the box you get screw-on optional SAE terminals. It appears that in Australia they supply brass and the European distributor supplies aluminium ones, which are the ones you can in my car. They can be screwed on in multiple ways, as convenient. In my case, I screwed them on sideways, otherwise the battery cables would not reach the terminals.

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That would make sense and is consistent with my understanding as well ("there is no free lunch" as you say).  Pretty awesome to have batteries knowledge around here too, you are an oracle of knowledge, my friend.  It's people like everyone in this thread and Loren that makes RennTech the best auto website on the internet hands down -  plus I'm partial to the TT folks here 🙂.  Jk.

 

Maybe with 400 CCA and it not getting cold there you will ok.  Not sure how fast lithium batteries degrade or what the base needs of the TT are power-wise; certainly less than my Q5.  My understanding of lead acid and AGM batteries is that they will degrade over time (such is the case with pretty much any kind of battery really) so my 800 CCA battery may only be 700 CCA when I check it again in 5 years, etc.  Something like that.  But it's not linear.  So checking again in 7 years, for example, it might only be 550 CCA.

 

This is an interesting post.  I am very interested in battery technology in general, especially in the current times where there is such rapid development and progress after many years of stagnation.  But I'm a software engineer by training so more of an enthusiast and not an expert (I just know cool stuff when I see it).

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Li technology is very interesting, but also quickly evolving. One way to look at light weight LI batteries to to watch what happens with race teams at the track; most serious race cars run Li lightweight batteries with one major caveat: they  don't use them to start the car, only to supply energy reserve while the car is running. For starting in the pits they hook up a conventional AGM battery:

 

spacer.png

 

There are Li batteries that are fine for daily drivers, with high CCA ratings, but they are also not super lightweight and expensive because they are relatively low production item.  Even Porsche released an Li battery for street use, but it was over $1700 at retail.

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Ya and I see they are using Red Tops as the starter, that makes perfect sense.  Since they are only using the LI battery to supply reserve energy, does that make it a "deep cycle" LI battery?

 

I looked into batteries a lot when I did my swap this summer so went from knowing nothing to knowing a little.  Like you are saying, some of these LI batteries can get to dizzying costs.  Like look at #3 on this list -- it's $1,000 cash (and the $300 Optima which you can get for $250 at AAP beats it to take second place).  

 

CLEANENERGYSUMMIT.ORG

Are you looking for the best deep cycle battery? If so, here is a guide for you. Know what to expect from this battery. Finally, compare the

 

In my next life I want to come back as JFP's kid......or at least his next door neighbor.

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3 minutes ago, Silver_TT said:

Ya and I see they are using Red Tops as the starter, that makes perfect sense.  Since they are only using the LI battery to supply reserve energy, does that make it a "deep cycle" LI battery?

 

I looked into batteries a lot when I did my swap this summer so went from knowing nothing to knowing a little.  Like you are saying, some of these LI batteries can get to dizzying costs.  Like look at #3 on this list -- it's $1,000 cash (and the $300 Optima which you can get for $250 at AAP beats it to take second place).  

 

CLEANENERGYSUMMIT.ORG

Are you looking for the best deep cycle battery? If so, here is a guide for you. Know what to expect from this battery. Finally, compare the

 

In my next life I want to come back as JFP's kid......or at least his next door neighbor.

 

If there is one thing all Li batteries do not like, it is being overly discharged (read deep cycled), which really damages them.  This is why many newer Li batteries have a "BMS" or electronic battery management system included in their construction, which will step in and cut off the battery before it gets into an overly high discharge condition.  Most Li battery BMS systems also include thermal protection as Li cells do not like getting very hot either.

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Here is an interesting published statement by a representative of the Antigravity Li battery company about their use of "equivalency ratings" used by Li battery manufacturers:

 

"Unfortunately for you consumers....the waters are muddy because none of the lithium battery company put the ACTUAL and REAL Amp Hour of the Capacity ON the Battery itself.... For example most of the battery companies including Antigravity go by a "PB-EQ" (means-"lead-acid equivalent") rating which is essentially stating what size our Lithium Battery is roughly equivalent to the Starting ability of a Lead/Acid Battery. And even this PB-EQ rating is not accurate because a company like Deltran, who makes the Battery Tender lithium battery version will state they offer a battery that they claim is equivalent to a "20 amp hour lead acid battery" yet the size of the lithium battery pack inside their battery is actually only 7 REAL AMP HOURS. At the same time a company like us, Antigravity, will claim we offer a battery that is equivalent to "20 amp hour lead acid battery" yet our lithium cell pack will be 12 REAL AMP HOURS... "

 

I particularly like the "roughly equivalent" statement.

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Gotcha, so it's something kind of in-between -- not meant for starting but also not meant to be deeply discharged either (makes sense a racecar doesn't have a lot of electronics as they don't even have A/C or radios, etc just bare bones).  That is one advantage of AGM, you can discharge the Hell out of it and bring it back to life (especially if you pair it with the CTek I already had).

 

About the Antigravity statement, good lord.  Talk about apples-to-oranges comparisons, I mean the guy even says even what they use isn't accurate and states why.  Great info.  Seriously fascinating as before all of this I just though a "battery was just a battery".......

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